Why does Esperanza both seek and try to avoid sexual experiences in The House on Mango Street?  Give me quotations or specific examples.

Expert Answers

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The short answer is because she is a young girl, and like any young person coming of age, there is a point of sexual awareness, curiosity and awakening.  And yet, as with anyone, Esperanza does not yet know all of the social rules and limitations that come with that awakening.

So she explores in some situations, where it seems to feel right, and retreats in situations where it doesn't.  It is also quite culturally accurate in Latino families for a young person to learns this through trial and error.  It is not something talked about openly by traditional Latino parents, especially with girls.

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